Optimizing Network Infrastructure: The Key to a Smooth-Running Business
Given the choice between a Ferrari and a minivan, most people would probably prefer to drive the Ferrari. They’d also probably prefer to park the Ferrari on their carport, so the neighbors could admire it. And yet, there are reasons why more New Jersey residents drive minivans: they’re infinitely more practical for the everyday needs of everyday people, and minivans fit within the average consumer’s budget. All things considered, most folks would prefer to have the vehicle serve them, rather than living their life in service of the vehicle. Similar thinking applies to small business owners and their computer networks.
What small business owners want is not super-expensive infrastructure that performs at levels beyond their needs at a cost beyond their budget. They want reliable performance at a reasonable price. This shouldn’t require you to overspend on services and hardware. However, with the right services, you can optimize your business infrastructure for greater performance. In other words, the right managed services provider (MSP) can make your minivan purr like a Ferrari.
Top ways to optimize your business network
At KMF Technologies, we help small businesses get the highest level of performance possible from their business network. The steps we take towards optimization include:
- Assessment — We audit business networks to understand where performance issues exist and why. Do your usage patterns cause bottlenecks? Does your floorplan create Wi-Fi dead zones? Is there obsolete hardware that must be replaced? Some problems might require an upgrade to your infrastructure, but others might be remedied by adjusting work processes. If we can pinpoint areas of improvement related to company behavior, we can save your business the cost of additional equipment.
- Employee training — While some employees are marvelously tech-savvy, others might not realize they are hogging bandwidth and slowing the system down for everyone. We look at the tasks employees engage in (which might not be entirely work-related), to note where, when, and why bottlenecks occur, then train workers in the best practices for avoiding those issues. For example, if a worker has to download an exhaustive file, it’s probably not a good idea to do it while the sales staff has a video conference.
- Reconfigure new hardware — If you’ve added new equipment to your network, we make sure that all components are communicating effectively.
- Data compression — Uploading or sending large data files can take forever, putting a strain on your network. Data compression allows you to shrink the size of the files before you process, saving time and bandwidth.
- Partitioning your network — There’s an old story about traffic jams on the Capital Beltway occurring at the same time in the same place every evening. The cause was traced to one motorist who insisted on driving below the speed limit in the far-left lane. And while that precise story might be urban legend, anyone who’s ever driven home in thick traffic on a Friday evening has invoked choice words for those passing-lane squatters. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the slow drivers stayed in the slow lanes? Well, that’s what partitioning can do for your business network. With a strategic use of VLANS, we can create fast lanes for priority tasks and slow lanes for tasks that can wait. VLANs can also improve network security for sensitive data.
- Create a guest network — If your business regularly has visitors who need Wi-Fi access, you can further partition your network to separate guests from workers. Doing so also enhances your network security, because you don’t have unauthorized devices tapping into the system.
- Monitor and maintain — Optimizing a network is much like tuning a guitar, you can’t expect the results to hold without occasional tweaking. Your MSP can perform regular tests to detect any deterioration in performance and make timely corrections, before you even notice it slowing down.
At KMF Technologies, we provide network management services that keep our clients’ systems operating at peak performance. By properly diagnosing underperformance and proactively correcting it, we can save our clients’ headaches and expenses, while ensuring reliable performance and security.